Thursday, October 06, 2016

elijah's chair

It is far too quiet in the house.

Nine months ago, Barco took up residence here. Since then, nothing has been very tranquil.

You know the stories. Torn furniture. Punctured screen doors. Clever escapes through the automatic garage doors. He was a one-dog story mill.

Other than one night when I left him with friends so I could go to Puerto Vallarta, I have spent all of my days with him. Our four walks a day were always an adventure. Frustrating adventures. But adventures.

For nine months he has slept in my  bedroom. Often on my bed. And no matter where I would be in the house, I always knew he was lurking somewhere. Waiting to jump out and grab my hand with his mouth.

That made last night extremely lonely. Barco has been a bit off his style for a few days. Picky about his food. Quickly tiring on our walks.

And then came the unproductive racking cough. Followed by vomiting. The most disconcerting aspect of his ailment was when he would simply stand with the blank stare of an Alzheimer patient.

I left Barco at the veterinarian clinic yesterday morning. The vet then called me with his diagnosis. There were two.

The first was a severe case of bronchitis. It would take time, but it could be cured.

The second was very bad news. Barco's stomach had twisted.

It is not uncommon for large male dogs. Their stomach fills with gas -- like a balloon. And like a balloon, it squeezes into any available cavity in the abdomen. In the process, the stomach will twist and cut off its ingress and egress -- often damaging other organs and blood vessels.

The vet said he would try to release the gas and see if the stomach returned to normal. He did; it didn't. That left only one option -- surgery.

The problem with surgery is that Barco's bronchitis was a complicating factor. The vet cadidly descibed it as "very dangerous."

There really was no choice. Without the surgery, Barco would die. So, into surgery he went last night.

I am still unaware of the results. Because the vet was up late attempting to save the life of my dog, I will let him rest and then call me.

Until then, there is an empty chair in the house with no name that has no occupant.

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